With all the craziness happening in this world, social distancing and restrictions I want to become a resource for you when it comes to planning your wedding and preparing for situations like what is happening now.
Now I am not a wedding planner but I do photograph a lot of weddings and I help couples plan their big to optimize their photography experience. Also, I am planning my own wedding!! My fiance and I are tying the knot this November and being in an industry where my busy season means no free time I took my slow season to plan ahead and book my vendors early to ease my stress.
So now let’s talk tips.. I want to give you my top 5 wedding planning tips.
1.First things first it’s all about the budget. Before you start looking into vendors, sending emails and making phone calls, sit down as a couple and have a candid discussion of your budget. Do some research on what the average wedding costs as well as average cost per vendor for your location or desired wedding location. Think about what aspects of your wedding are most important to you and budget accordingly. Most importantly leave yourself some wiggle room. You want to give yourself a goal but set a line of expectation that can’t be crossed so you don’t have any disappointment moving forward with the planning process. For Nick and I we knew we valued photography, entertainment and overall guest experience. Now I have inside knowledge on what vendors cost in my area so when we made our budget I made sure to put these things at top priority so we could afford the vendors we wanted.
2. Guest list!! So I know you may want to start looking into vendors once you have decided on a budget but my next tip is to Sit down with your partner and key family members to put together a wish list of wedding guests. Chances are, you’ll need to make some cuts along the way. You’ll also need to decide whether you’re inviting children and who will be allotted a plus one. The venue of your dreams might have a max number of guests or a required amount of guests. So before you go getting your hopes up, talk amongst yourselves about who you want to invite. Make a list and get an idea of the number of people you want/plan to invite and use that number to research venues and make educated choices. You can always cut people if necessary but make sure you are inviting people who are truly important to you.
3. Book your venue! In order to book your other vendors you need to book your venue and set your wedding date. You may have a desired date in mind. Start researching and visiting venues as soon as you can. Keep in mind venues are the first thing everyone books so the earlier you start looking the better. Be sure to investigate prices, packages, and any restrictions (including minimum budget spend) from several different potential wedding and reception venues before you sign on the dotted line. Even if there’s a venue and a package price that you really like, still, keep looking at additional opinions. Ask around and see what other venues are charging before agreeing on a price. Also, see how much time you are really getting when booking your venue. Every venue is different but you want to make sure you are getting value out of the time you are paying for.
4. Start thinking about your wedding vision. This will be important when deciding other vendors. Are you a light & airy couple? A couple who values a romantic & timeless vision? Or maybe you’re a couple who enjoys a more moody color palette? Either way knowing what your style and vision is will help you book your vendors accordingly.
5. Now this is my most important tip!! Plan early and plan ahead! The sooner you start planning and booking your vendors the better. Typically you should start planning 12 months ahead of time. In the wedding world 12 months flys by though. Even though you are planning a wedding life doesn’t stop. Wedding planning can become stressful but it doesnt need to be. Procrastination is your worst enemy! Making decisions early in your planning process is the best way to ensure you will get the best vendors for your style and budget without compromise! There is a lot of work that goes into weddings. A lot of time, planning and money. The more time you allow the easier it will be to stick to your budget. Plan accordingly and be prepared for the unexpected. Nick and I got engaged this past November and because of my schedule we started planning right away. Once we had our budget set and guest list made we started booking big ticket items right away. Venue, Caterer, Photographer and Videographer. This has given me a nice cushion to focus on my clients during wedding season and helping them navigate through this tough time and rescheduling.
Here are some resources to help you plan your wedding! Enjoy 🙂
Brides– How to plan your own wedding
Wedding Budget Guide